The urban economy as a scale-free network.
Journal article, 2003

We present empirical evidence that land values are scale free and introduce a network model that reproduces the observations. The network approach to urban modeling is based on the assumption that the market dynamics that generates land values can be represented as a growing scale-free network. Our results suggest that the network properties of trade between specialized activities cause land values, and likely also other observables such as population, to be power-law distributed. In addition to being an attractive avenue for further analytical inquiry, the network representation is also applicable to empirical data and is thereby attractive for predictive modeling.


Claes Andersson

Chalmers, Department of Physical Resource Theory

Alexander Hellervik

Physical Resource Theory 2

Kristian Lindgren

Chalmers, Department of Physical Resource Theory

Anders Hagson

Department of Architecture

Jonas Tornberg

Department of Architecture

Physical Review E

24700045 (ISSN) 24700053 (eISSN)

Vol. 68 036124-

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences



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